It means being always on your guard. It means absorbing shit that you really shouldn’t. And now, it means being a little terrified.
You see, I have a workmate who makes me feel uneasy. He invades my personal space. He makes inappropriate comments. And recently he started touching me.
The first time it happened, I made a fuss. I yelled. My workmates all heard; there was uneasy laughter. They didn’t say anything.
The next time it happened, I yelled again. More uneasy laughter. No-one did anything, again.
What does a girl have to do to get people to realise that she’s not ok with being touched and that she isn’t feeling safe?
My next step is a formal complaint. It’s going to happen. But meanwhile, I’m sitting here with headphones on and music turned up, trying to pretend I’m not terrified to be alone in the building with him.
This isn’t ok.
But it’s reality, for many women in tech and other male-dominated industries. We are expected to suck it up, to deal with it.
I refuse. I will make a fuss. This is not ok.